Ken Paxton wins third term as Texas attorney general

Despite carrying heavy legal baggage, Republican incumbent Ken Paxton secures re-election.

By Andrew Schneider, Houston Public MediaNovember 9, 2022 8:11 am, ,

From Houston Public Media:

Attorney General Ken Paxton, the Republican incumbent, won a third term, beating his Democratic challenger Rochelle Garza.

As of 5 a.m. Wednesday, he had secured roughly 54% of the vote with 88% of the polling locations reporting results.

The past few months have been the most politically challenging cycles of Paxton’s career. He was forced into a Republican primary runoff after a brutal four-way contest in the first round, involving Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, and Congressman Louie Gohmert. He went on to beat Bush in the second round by nearly 68% to 32%.

He then faced Garza, who herself had emerged from a five-way Democratic primary contest and gone on to triumph over former Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski nearly 63% to 37% in the second round.

Paxton entered the general election with heavy legal baggage. He has been under indictment on state securities fraud charges since 2015, the first year of his first term as attorney general. Since 2020, he has been under FBI investigation on charges raised by a number of whistleblowers from Paxton’s own office, who alleged Paxton had broken the law by intervening several times in legal matters involving Nate Paul, a real estate investor who had donated $25,000 to his 2018 reelection campaign.

Garza was best known prior to running for office for her work as an ACLU staff attorney, in which she successfully sued the Trump administration to help an undocumented teenaged migrant to obtain an abortion. She campaigned heavily on the need to combat public corruption, naming Paxton as the prime example, as well as on defending women’s reproductive rights. She also picked up a late endorsement from a third-party rival, Mark Ash, the Libertarian candidate for attorney general.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on and Houston Public Media. Thanks for donating today.